Parenting by Paul David Tripp Book Review


by Heather Bock

Don’t miss signing up for the book giveaway for this great book! See instructions at the end of the post.

If you follow my blog regularly, you know I love books and reviewing them so others can learn about great books I’ve found–sharing a great book is almost as good as reading it myself. Sometimes I have been given the opportunity to review them (which almost always includes a fun book giveaway), and sometimes I just pick a book off my shelf that I’ve been reading lately. Most of the time when I start reading a book I don’t know well that I know I’ll review, I use sticky notes to mark the pages. I figure if I don’t mess up the book too much, I can pass it on to someone who might relate to it more. I started that way with Parenting by Paul David Tripp. 35 pages into the book, I abandoned the sticky notes and just started underlining. How fun to discover that this is the parenting book I’ve been wanting for a long time, the book I need.

This is not a book filled with practicalities, advice for how to get your child to eat his sausage and rice without whining and complaining and repeatedly getting out of his chair in front of company (last night’s dinner events). Nothing is wrong with that kind of book, but you’ll have to look elsewhere. This book is a foundations book, the heart and attitude you’ll need before you enact any discipline plan. And for me, it is essential.

Here is the essence, as best as I can explain it: we are not able to parent our children well on our own strength. We should feel inadequate! However, God will never give us a task we are not equipped to handle. He Himself equips us in the areas we are unable. Another main point: we are as sinful as our kids and as much in need of parenting by our own Father as our kids are in need of parenting by us. If we remember our state, we can show grace to our kids and be less likely to deal with misbehavior with anger and frustration. We will be more likely to confess our own sin as we point out the sin in our children. In addition, every time our children mess up (every day), we are given an opportunity to instruct our kids on the state of their heart and their need for Jesus. They truly do need us to introduce them to Jesus, as they are foolish and sinful–we are foolish when we think their sin against us is personal. And we need every one of those opportunities because parenting is not a “series of dramatic confrontation-confession events, but rather a life-long process of incremental awareness and progressive change” (87). Our job is to daily introduce them to our grace-filled, beautiful God.

These heart changes, attitude shifts, can make all the difference in my parenting. When I hear my kids squabbling (again), and I think of how annoying it is to me that they’re doing this–how dare they make me parent them again–I can discipline with patience, love, grace, and mercy if I first remember I am a sinner, in need of God’s grace. I won’t be frustrated if I expect them to act this way daily, knowing that they won’t change after one heart-to-heart talk about their misbehavior. I will start to desire more than just good behavior, but an actual heart change (which only God can bring about). In addition, I can be actually glad for another opportunity to show them the state of their heart and how Jesus can help them.

One more lesson I learned from this book: when I started homeschooling, I had the mistaken idea that my kids would learn to love each other just by being with each other all the time. One of the reasons I choose homeschool was so my family could be close. I forgot something crucial that Tripp brings up in this book–the inadequacy of monastic parenting. Perhaps some monasteries long ago had the idea that they could be sequestered from the evil world by walling themselves away from it. The problem was that they put people in the monasteries, so the evil was there anyway. Homeschooling will not deliver my kids from moral danger–it’s already inside them. It will give me plenty of opportunities to teach them about the danger inside their hearts, but it will still take intentional parenting.

I cannot recommend this book enough to every parent. Without this foundation, every other discipline gimmick, parenting style, etc. can easily go awry. We have to deal with the heart of the matter first.

 Book Giveaway

I am so glad I get to give away one free copy of Parenting by Paul David Tripp! I know it will help others as it helped me. To subscribe:

  • Click the button “follow” in the above right column under my picture and type in your email address.

To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,

  • Share this book review post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
  • Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
  • Notify me of your name.

Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only.

I will announce the winner next Saturday, so look for it! Thank you!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Book Giveaway Winner

Last week, I announced a winner for my book giveaway for Mike Bechtle’s book I Wish He Had Come with Instructions. Unfortunately, I have not been able to contact the winner, so I have drawn a new winner. The new winner of Mike Bechtle’s book is Jennifer H. Jennifer, please email me at heather.bock[at] with your contact information so I can have the book sent to you. Thank you!


16 thoughts on “Parenting by Paul David Tripp Book Review

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